Top 5 Best Electric Smokers 2022
Meat and smoke go hand in hand. Most of us prefer the strong taste it lights our tastebuds with.
You’re not alone if you want a good smoker.
If you don’t like charcoal, electric smokers are your next best choice.
What’s great about electric smokers is the fact that these are set it and forget smokers. Pellet grills run on current but they come much more expensive. In this post we are talking about electric smokers that burn wood chips to product smoke.
So here’s our first choice:
Masterbuilt 30-inch Digital Electric Smoker
Masterbuilt digital electric smoker is an easy-to-use smoker who has just taken the first few baby steps in the world of smoking.
The main cabinet is made of steel and comes with a plastic rim. The interior is made of aluminum.
The digital control panel lets you adjust the temperature from 100 to 275 degree F.
The internal thermostat is capable of handling the rest.
The electric smoker covers a good area with the heating element only 800 watts. The Masterbuilt electric smoker retains a consistent internal temperature that doesn’t tend to fluctuate much.
There’s the base 30” model and the 40 “ inch model you can buy.
On Amazon there are also a few outdated models and you need to be careful with that. Choose one with the rising sun and big M logo.
On the 30 inch base model you get 4 racks and 730 square feet of space for your smoking needs.
Masterbuilt’s 40 inch model is even more spacious. Here are some of the features we loved in the product:
The smoker body insulation makes sure that it remains insulated better compared to other similar smokers out there. This insulation also provides you with a good consistent internal temperature.
The 30 inch model has 730 sqare feet of space
Convenient and easy to choose wood chip tray system: The wood chip tray system is convenient and easy-to-use.
The cold smoking add-on kit can turn your Masterbuilt into a cold smoking kit in no time.
Masterbuilt doesn’t have an inbuilt meat probe. Another issue I could find with them is their 90-day warranty which is pretty backward if you ask me. It’s not enough time to break into the machine and test it all the different ways you want to.
Char Broil Delux Digital Electric Smoker
The 725inch smoker from Char Broil is another good option for anyone not sold on the first option above.
It’s nearly as good looking as the Masterbuilt electric smoker. It looks as spacious and even is.
With the unit’s remote control, you can control and adjust the temperature easily. Then there’s the digital control panel using which you can adjust the internal temperature smoothly. The digital control panel sits at the top of the smoker.
The unit presents a glass door that lets you see every rack inside the smoker. Watching your food smoke isn’t very exciting I agree but being able to check on it without having to open the door to see how things are is convenient for most of us.
It has a 800 watt heating element inside with 725 square feet of cooking surface.
Easy to use and even easier to clean up– The digital panel is one of smoothest you will find. You can easily control the temperature with either the digital panel or the remote control. Add water or wood when its smoking and you can put it inside a dishwasher to clean.
Flexible set up for fitting plenty of food inside- – Because you adjust the 4 15 inch by 12.5 inch racks, you can easily configure the char-broil deluxe to fit whatever you want inside. If you want a turkey or ribs adjust the racks to put inside the whole thing.
In addition to all the features of Char broil Delux Digital Electric Smoker there are also some things we didn’t really like:
Remote control range is narrow
We all love having a remote control to control temperatures. The sad thing is the range is limited. It depends on your set up and the walls between you and the smoker but still the range seems off the mark.
Have to set a temp or time – When you set up to cook something you ideally don’t want it to run indefinitely. It’s not a big problem though that you can’t set it up to run for the time you desire.
You can use the meat temperature probe to see if the internal temperature has reached where you want it to reach.
The char broil may hold good-sized pork buttons and around 6 baby back ribs as well.
Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smart Digital Smoker
Electric smokers are for anyone who prefers a set-it-and-forget-it cooker.
So Masterbuilt introduced something clever to achieve this. They have a smoker that connects to your phone with Bluetooth. You can sit, relax and control the temperature of the smoker with the app on your phone.
You can power on the smoker or adjust the temperature or monitor the temperature all from one place.
The capacity is a highlight. It comes in two variants first the 30-inch model followed by a 40-inch model. If you need the extra space go for the latter.
Both models carry four adjustable racks that give you room even when cooking for a slightly larger group of people.
The heating element has 1200 watts but the max temperature is still low at 275 degrees F.
The wood chip tray makes adding and reloading chips a simple task.
You don’t need to open up the smoker to introduce new wood chips. That’s convenient and this makes it easy to not lose heat and smoke while at it.
In addition, there’s the feature of being able to adjust the temperature without leaving the house.
The Bluetooth technology isn’t all that good.
The range you get is around 15 feet. And if you have walls the range decreases. Bluetooth struggles to steadily hold the connection and it can be a frustrating experience if that happens all too often.
If you keep the phone close to the smoker it works well.
You don’t have to forsake the comfort of your house or leave the phone close to the door and that beats going outside.
There are several features I personally loved about this model:
- Huge amount of room – With 4 racks and 975 sq. inches of cooking surface that means you can keep cooking food for plenty of mouths
- Excellent smoke flavor – The food you cook has a distinct flavor and aroma of smoke every time.
- Wheels make it easy to move –Most electric smokers aren’t portable. The wheels make it easy for you to move this around.
What we don’t like:
- Range on the Bluetooth app – The range, unfortunately, is limited. There are mutliple issues like having to reconnect often
- Small wood chip tray – A smoker uses more wood chips and it’s a misery that the 40 inch model and the 30-inch model share the same chip tray. The tray shouldn’t have been larger. Now the convenience of having a bigger smoker is killed by the annoyance of having to refill the chip tray every not and then. That’s disappointing.
If you buy the smoker because you can control things from your phone you’re mostly going to be disappointed.
Why? Because of connection issues. Despite the Bluetooth feature, this is a good smoker. However, the size bump isn’t fully met.
4. Best High End – Smokin Tex Pro Series 1400 Residential Electric Smoker
There are multiple smokers you can use.
But very few are priced under $1000.
But that’s what you may love about Smokin Tex Pro Series 1400 smoker.
It looks like a tank that has double-wall insulation. It has rubber door seals. It’s something that you may see in a commercial kitchen is sold for home use.
It’s a simple machine. It fixes most problems with electric smokers like flimsy construction and leaky doors that air out the smoke.
The cooking is simple. Since the smoke is less, the temperature rises quickly. That’s why you don’t need to warm it up.
Add wood to the wood chip pan, add your meat, and adjust the dial.
You can add the chips every 90 miutes or so. You can use wood chunks but are happy with the chips.
It is a welcome change not to have to worry about running out of fuel during a long cook like with a pellet or charcoal grill. Even when you run out of wood chips the smoker keeps cooking.
You can smoke your food between 100 degrees F to 250 degree F and that’s how it’s a great cold smoker.
What are the things we like?
- Great smoke flavor- The equipment seals the smoke except for a tiny exhaust vent. The smoke is drawn inside the unit and this bathes the food in rich flavor.
- Easy to clean – The grease and other food mess is easy to clean up. You don’t have to spare a lot of effort for that.
What I don’t like:
- Lack of wood chip feeder: You must open the door to the smoker to add additional wood chips. They don’t come with a chip feeder unlike the one you see on Masterbuilt
- The spacing- There’s a 3-inch gap between the racks. If you’re cooking anything big you must remove a rack.
Some extra space would have been nice for us, But all it takes is moving around the cooking racks a little to make for that space.
Large electric smoker Smokein-it Model 2 Electric Smoker
Looking for a smoker used in big restaurants? If that’s the case you won’t be wrong with the Smokein-it Model #2
The Smokein-it isn’t a popular choice, one that has thousands of positive reviews. What it has though is quality and ample space and that’s why it’s on our list today.
The insulation layers in Masterbuilt smokers are great. However, this one smoker is built in a similar way as tanks are built using 18-gauge stainless steel material. It’s insulated with the help of fiberglass material. This reduces the loss of heat.
Unlike cheaper electric smokers that are made with lightweight material, the Smokeinit is well insulated and doesn’t require major modifications. This allows it to hold heat and maintain a temperature.
When you fire up the smoker you can see the temperature rising to 40 to 50 degrees F. Once the chamber starts heating, the temperature levels of and stay at the desired place for few hours.
The build quality to price makes this a value smoker and if you’re spending some more money you get better barbeque.
You get 4 stainless steel cooking racks that you can configure any way you want to.
What’s to liike?
- Long power cord – The power cord at 12 feet long is more than what you need. But you can connect the smoker from the back.
- Good mobility for a smoker of this size – Allows for portability with wheels at the bottom
- Really efficient wood consumption – You can save on wood chips. You only need 2 to 5oz of wood depending on what’s being cooked.
The low position of the thermostat allows the smoker to run cold at the top.
There’s nothing bad about this. The quality and size are great.
What to know when buying a smoker?
Most importantly, look at the digital control panel to see the options on youtube. Many models will allow you set an internal temperature.
The second main feature you must look at for is Bluetooth or remote control.
It’s a nice feature for you to have.
Other smokers sometimes face issues like Bluetooth range and disconnection issues.
Things keep changing though, so start looking at reviews to understand things better.
Electric smokers use power from the grid so they’re not always designed to be really portable. The pellet grills need to be plugged in and have innovations for portability.
You can always choose electric smokers for under $100. However, a 200 to 300 price range is often better. With some Bluetooth models, the cost can go up to $500 or more.
Pros and cons of buying an electric smoker
So you know most details about electric smokers and perhaps also read a few unfavorable things about them.
If you’re buying an electric smoker you need to be prepared to listen to comments that say charcoal tastes better. Food in a charcoal smoker is better. But for most of us the flavor profile is only slightly different and we can’t tell the difference.
If you’re buying an electric smoker barbeque every weekend instead of just once or twice a year.
Electric smoker pros:
- Electric smokers are almost always set-it-and-forget-it types. Depending on who’s using it you could find it enjoyable or something less useful.
- If you’re smoking different food types like fish or sausage, electric smokers are great. You can also turn them into cold smokers for making bacon or cheese.
- If you stay in a unit that doesn’t allow charcoal smoking, electric might be the best option.
- It’s less harmful to the environment. Charcoal releases CO and Co2.
Electric smoker cons:
- You need a power outlet or extension cord.
- Eclectic smokers have more parts than traditional smokers. You will run into problems that demand repairs. These problems aren’t as huge as problems from pellet smokers but still something you must worry about.
- Electric isn’t a good dedicated smoker. Other types of smokers that work ok, an electric smokers doesn’t get the high heat from crisp skin roasting, or chicken or meat grilling.
Electric makes a lot of compromises. You give up some flavor to gain ease of cooking. Other smokers get better results.
If you’re ok with this small sacrifice and since most people can’t tell the differenc,e electric smokers might be the best choice for you.
If you like and collect smokers you can always try charcoal or pellet smokers.
How do electric smokers work
If you never smoked using electric smokers, you may be slightly worried about this work.
Unlike traditional smokers where you add charcoal and wood, electric smokers use more technology behind them.
It doesn’t control the heat by limiting oxygen flow. Electric smokers control electricity and have tiny vents for internal temperature control.
The heat in electricity is transferred through a glowing metal rod. The smoke effect is from wood chips above the heating element. That smolders and releases smoke that flavors the meat.
What about Pellet Grills?
You may also want to know about pellet grills. Pellet grills run on electricity and are great for smoking than grilling. However, they’re quite unlike electric smokers. Pellet grills are now more popular than electric smokers. The design helps you store wood pellets. These smokers for hours. You don’t need a reload every 45 minutes to an hour.
For many people, the advantages of pellet grills outweigh any cons. You are going to pay a premium for the convenience though, and there are a lot more parts to break.
Is electric or propane better for smoking?
We already know the pros and cons of electric smokers at this point. However, you may still be itching to know the core differences between gas and electric smokers.
If you’re between gas and electric here’s a guide that compares the pros and cons.
- They are set it and forget styles
- No need to manage fires or light charcoal
- Smoke is created by adding chips inside wood chip tray
This produces smoke that makes your food a distinct smoky flavor and gives a distinctive smoke ring.
Meanwhile, electric smokers produce heat from a glowing element.
This doesn’t make a difference for most of us. We can’t tell the difference.
Electric smokers still produce delicious smoked food. You are guaranteed to not run out of fuel. Most people use extension cords to power up smokers. It’s up to you to decide whether you are up for the cook.
Getting the most out of your new electric smoker
In this section, we’ll talk about everything you need to get the most out of your new electric smoker
- Season your new smoker before you start cooking with it.
- Even if the smoker has a dial-in thermostat. You can also buy a dual-probe thermometer. The temperature varies in different places inside the smoker. So measure the air temperature where the meat cooks.
- Allow the smoker time to get to the temperature and then add food.
- Start with something smaller like a shoulder or butt for your first smoke. With fat, the meat will taste good even if you have mastered smoking.,
- Keep our smoker clean. This is possible by removing removable parts
- You must take out and remove parts like the racks the water pan and the crumb trays and clean them. You can also use good oven cleaners for this.
Smoking is all about practice. Next, you will find controlling the temperature easy to do. You will learn how to smoke different cuts of meat, rubs, and other things.
Electric Smoker frequently asked questions
1) Are electric smokers as good as charcoal?
It depends on what you call good. If you say flavor is your benchmark, and you can learn how to use a charcoal smoker, then you will get better flavors with charcoal barbeque.
If you want something that doesn’t require maintenance, then use an electric smoker as that’s the wiser choice.
2) How do electric smokers make smoke?
Electricity heats up elements at the bottom of the smoker. Wood chips at the bottom above the heating element smolder easily.
3) How long should wood chips last?
The amount of wood your electric smoker holds will depend on the model you cook with and how hot you cook and the size of chips you use.
Chips should ideally last an hour or more. Smoking wood in the tray should only be placed when the smoker has reached a particular temperature.
Your only need to add wood chips in the first 20 minutes. And then it lasts an hour.
Once the meat cooks, it seals the juices in and the flavors that go into the meat. If you add smoke after this it builds up on the outside and makes it stronger.
Begin with less wood and increase it.
4) Can you use an electric smoker in the house?
Yes you may want to use one inside if it rains outside and snows there.
But you need the smoker outside or the smoke builds up. You need a restaurant style extraction system otherwise.
Your spouse doesn’t want the smell permanently embedded in your house.
5) Do you have to soak wood chips before using them?
This is another strong warning.
The debate is large about soaking wood chips. Soaking doesn’t help.
It can change the smoke produced. We have break down on wood controverises and a guide to smoke wood.
6) How do you clean an electric smoker?
To clean and dry the smoker don’t use strong cleaners or plenty of water.
Wipe the surface aftereach use and remove burnt food.
To wrap it up
Electric smokers are too easy to oeprate. But operating charcoal, shell smokeer is going to cost a lot in the long run.